Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blurry Bedroom Bylaws

The nights have begun to run together. My days are a bit of a blur. One night in the middle somehwere, my little girl climbed over my head to get in my bed. Then cried when I said, "come on, back to your bed." Not only did she cry, she held the headboard and screamed. So, I took her back to bed, and sat by her. She was asleep pretty fast in spit of her anger.
Then last night, she fell asleep in her bed, AFTER I read, and after I left!! She was asleep in her own bed without ME!!!! Woohooo! Then when she woke up, it was about 3. She didn't even ask to get in my bed!! She just pulled her blaket and pillow to my floor and lay beside the bed. Then after realizing her bed was cozier, she asked if I would come to her room please. (please??) So, since it is a well-known fact the hubster can sleep in any conditions, I sent him. He got up early though and came to our room, so she once again fell asleep and woke up all by herself. And happy. YAY!!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The lengths boys will go to NOT to do laundry

This would be my two oldest boys after I said, "which one of you has the most dirty clothes?" They knew whichever laundry basket was fuller(most full?? fullest?? Darn! grammar goes out of my head by 9 pm), would be the unlucky guy doing his laundry today. This was their plan: smash it down as much as possible. They got a moment of bloggy fame, but I won in the end. For all their cleverness... I am cleverer. (cleverest? Most clever --gah!well at least more than those two) I made them both go today. So HAH! Mom's score (again. not that I am keeping score, cause that would just be a wrong and petty thing for a mom to do.)

Night 1 of the new bedroom bylaws

This is what we want to have happen. (her in her own bed-- tu tu optional)

Okay, night one. Well, the little girl has a cold and sounds terrible. So she knows I feel pity on her. But I was strong! FIRM! I gave her cold meds before bed, I read the Secret Garden to the girls. She was happily snoring in her bed by 9:30. Mission accomplished. She fell asleep in her own bed(step 1).
Then the hubster and I watched a couple of episodes of our favorite sit com on NetFl*x.(by the way, you should check that out! Totally saving us $$ and we can watch some things instantly) Then the little girl comes back out about 11(hmmm early. Well "mess up her midnight habit"-- step 2 ACCOMPLISHED!) So I said, ok, sweet, go back to your bed, I will come there in a minute. She went. I went about 20 minutes later. She was sound asleep! So the hubster and I got to fall asleep WITHOUT HER!!!(step 3 accomplished!!) Then at some point in the night, I wake. Uncomfortable and hearing her cough, snore and snort next to me. I realize I have a foot in my ribs and before opening my eyes realize... SHE IS BACK! (ok so step 4 not accomplished-- the sneak attack still worked) So (not wanting her to pee on my unprotected mattress) I took her to potty, then to get more meds, then to HER BED.Where I lay next to her from 3 am to 8. I woke up in the stupid uncomfortable bottom bunk. Thinking a new mattress??? Maybe THAT would help?? So I got up before her and she woke up in her own bed by herself.(step 5-- accomplished!)
Report? I have a dry bed. The hubster had a few hrs of blissfully alone sleep in a super cozy(dare I say it? Heavenly king sized bed) I am sore, and weary-- I feel as though I were in a fight. But I feel it was a semi successful 1st night. A few of our issues went well. That, my friends, is the update! stay tuned for the next installment. This will be where she wants to know if I AM SERIOUS. And where my weariness will be tested. I might need a nap when the hubster gets home. Then I will be READY for battle... dum da dum dum... (this is what we usually see-- this is MY bed)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Letter to a child- "Bedroom Bylaws"

Dear little Moriah,
My sweet 4 yr old. My darling tiniest daughter. My "baby." May I begin with telling you I love you with every fiber of my being. I absolutely adore the God of the heavens who brought you to me. I love that you remind me to live, and laugh and dance and sing.
There is, however a problem in our relationship. You must STOP climbing into my bed every night. You have more predictable timing than a clock! Every night at midnight, like some strange Cinderella story, you are running down the hall. Then once there, you kick. You pull hair, you snore(as loud as Daddy, I might add), and you occasionally pee on me. I do not enjoy waking up wet, and feeling abused-- emotionally, physically and psychologically. I have lovingly and willingly provided you with attachment parenting. You lived in the sling attached to my body for your first 6 months. You crawled following my every move for weeks after that. Then you walked at 9 mos and followed me even faster. I have had you near me to bathe, you have followed me to the bathroom.... I have had few private moments. By three you were handing me my underclothes as I got dressed. NOW, we must learn a new, hard lesson. It is called "tough love" my sweet baboo. It does not mean mommy does not love you. Just that I need to be tougher than you. We now begin a teensy bit of DETACHMENT parenting. This will be where you and I no longer sleep in MY bed. So, here are the new Bedroom Bylaws. I understand you are scared of your windows, but we will cover, adorn and block the said windows until they are no longer visible from the inside. You may have a lamp on ALL night long. Even if your sister has to have a spa- like sleep mask.If you have a bad dream, I will lie next to you on YOUR bed. I will pray for you, hold your hand and kiss you. I will not let you in my bed! All naps will heretofore be on your bed, nI hope this has been clear and loving enough. I am now going to order a new bedpad from Overst*ck, because there was a small hole in mine I was unaware of, and your last lake Erie managed to make it through. I also must go spray my mattress and let it air. When we make the bed together (because I know you love that!) please refrain from saying "our" bed? It really will make e feel like you understood this whole new set of rules. Thank you, love you so much, Mama

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Please pray

A family with the last name of Smith lost their ten yr old son, Kolton, in a car accident last week. His funeral was yesterday. Please keep them in your prayers. He was on Elijah's baseball team, so it has been our kid's first brush with death of a young person. I baked bread for the family meal, and must have cried a hundred tears in the process. I wrapped the bread before bed and went to give my kids extra kisses while they slept.Please join me in prayer for this grieving family.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The dance of time

They say(by the way, who ARE THEY??), that time goes by fast. They say that we will miss these moments with our kids. They also say I should put my kids in public school so I get a break. They say that I will one day miss my kids being little. This is all so weird to me. So confusing. My intent is to soak up every moment I can. Not to smother them, but to enjoy the time with them. My mom always use to say, "let's make a memory." And we did. LOTS of them. Granted, my brother and I have very different takes on them, and we remember stuff mom has forgotten. Sometimes we remembered the wrong part. But the point is, we made family memories. And I don't really think my mom wishes we were little again. I just think she wishes we weren't so busy and we could see each other more now.
But for my crew, even though there are incredibly stressful moments, I love the teaching. The re-learning. The challenges and the changes. It is simply my way. Though not many understand it, it is the choice I have made. I want to teach them at home. This is my way of soaking up the time with them. My intent is to enjoy every possible moment with them, and for me that includes being a part of their learning and their figuring out life and their place in it.
My goal is to snuggle every chance I get, kiss every cheek I can, and hold every hug as long as possible.(all while taking as many pictures as possible) This way, I don't think I will miss or long for their baby days-- just remember them fondly. I know time moves quickly, but I can be just as fast. I will just dance along. So, if you are worried about missing moments with your kids, or that they are growing up too fast-- Don't worry, time doesnt go anywhere if we are soaking up the moments. It just moves and we dance with it. So put on your dancing shoes and get grooving.

(these are Moriah's "dancing shoes" from last year. They were just inexpensive black dress shoes that she decided were tap shoes. She danced,spun, flitted and fluttered until she wore them out. I had to hide them then throw them away because they were so tight they hurt her. But before I did, I got this picture to remind me to dance so hard I wear out my shoes. and yes, I did buy her more. and this year she has her very own REAL tap shoes--which she calls clapping shoes-- and they are very loud. and kind of annoying. but we dance anyway, I just need earplugs, Thank you.)

Bedtime rituals

Every night we have rituals. We have these crazy routines that we do... they have changed over time. The have outgrown their lullabies and moved on.
They dont want to sit in my lap and snuggle. AND I AM GLAD! They are as tall as me. This is getting crazy! 10 and 12 and they are as tall as me??
The littles dont get arn baths and full body massages like they did when they were babies either(oh to have the life of a baby in this house. I have to say, it is pretty darn good)
So, life changes. We have to change with it.
Riley has begun a ritual of a kiss on the cheek and awkward side hugs.

Moriah still loves her song,
"her eyes are like chocolate, hair like the night, skin like the sand on a warm summer night... she's my beautiful baby girl...." but she whispers after(you know I am not a baby, right?)um, so that may be drifting out too.

Olivia's thing is to say "I love you more" and see who says it first.

Elijah still gives sweet kisses(even though he told me at age three he was too big for other people to see this ritual) and tight hugs. He has never been one for snuggling or singing. But his love runs deep and strong. He is so secure and determined about life and who he is it can be intimidating. But it leaves you feeling lucky you are a part of it.

Then there is Isaiah. His life changes more and faster than anyone I know. If you have ever seen the movie "Dennis the Menace" you have seen my son. He is not really a menace, just a crazy active little boy with a fast moving brain. A brain that moves not as fast as his body sometimes. Well, by bedtime, this can put me into a stupor. A fog sort of. By the time I am getting everyone to bed... I can be a little ditzy. So every night for a whole year, he comes to me(he has begun using mouthwash-- I know he is young but it is the nontoxic type and he can do it well and has supervision by dad) EVERY NIGHT! He comes to me, and I pucker and close my eyes and lean in. Assuming it is the sweet full lips kiss of last year. But no, it is the "my-mouth-is-wide-open-for-you-to-smell-my-breath" move. So I open my eyesto see him and I have matching wide blue eyes and are (again) in this awkward position of my puckered lips are fully inside his wide open mouth. Again.I back away, sigh, and say, oops. I did it again, huh? He simply says, smell!!! with a big smile.(like this is a big surprise) and I sniff, say the regular, "wow! That smells minty fresh! Good job" (meanwhile thinking, we need to have a talk about the dating years)Then comes the sweet puckered kiss and the super tight hug. Then Dad reads to the boys, I read to the girls and we are all in bed. Sort of. Until Moriah wakes about 12:30 and says "mommy, I am scared in MY bed alone" and she climbs in with me and pokes her cold toes under my warm behind. She sighs big and smiles bigger as she wedges herself between daddy and mommy. Making herself quite at home. Then when I am thinking, GAH! I need some space!!!!! She says "I yove you mommy!" And I roll over and say, I love you too honey.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What is at my core?

I have been doing more cooking this last few weeks. Baking breads and making things from scratch. I have taught the kids a few lessons with it all, and I have learned a few as well. I have been chopping, slicing and dicing. When I chop an onion, I see its many layers. With an apple, it is simply skin, meat, then core.(oh, and some seeds in that) I have always known people are like these two things. Some people are onions, layer after layer of emotion, and thought and feeling. Others are apples(some sweet or some tart maybe) but they have a solid sort of self. What you see is what you get. Neither onions nor apples are bad. Nor are they always good. But they are what they are. And each has a center. The core. I have been thinking so much about who I am. Who I am in God, through Christ... who am I. What am I made of. What is it at my core??
You can figure out a lot about people by judging their fruit.(NOT JUDGING THEM!) What is it that they place top billing in their lives on? What is it that each of us sets as a main focus? I feel regret that there are days that I dont set God as the center. There are days when I feel life has steam rolled me before I can stop to pray! But there are days when I feel His sweet presence and the confirmation of His love... and am awed.
My core is obviously desiring to trust and obey Him, and glorify Him with my words and actions. My core values from there are to figure out myself, makes sense out of and enjoy marriage, and raise my kids to be seeking the Truth for their lives. My hope is that my priorities and actions will actually line up WITH that. May we live authentically, love enthusiastically, and celebrate endlessly.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Things I never did BEFORE children(BC)

I never had trouble finding time to shower.
I ate slowly and without interruptions.
I slept when I was tired and got up when it was time to go to school or work.
I never woke up in a puddle of pee.
I never woke up with little feet INSIDE my pajama pants.
I had the option of sleeping "au natural"
I never fought a man over who got the Tylenol PM.
I never did rock- paper- scissors to determine responsibilities.
I never knew there had to be systems for every darn thing we did in a day.
BUT to be fair,
I never knew what I was missing:

snuggles in bed with warm cozy bodies
the smell of baby hair
the relief of nursing a hungry baby
the relief of being done nursing
hearing your almost teen say, "mom, you said I could talk to you about anything" then hear him say things that he must have had such a hard time saying(and that I may need therapy to get over)-- but it was normal teen stuff, just awesome he was comfortable enough to talk to ME!!!
having your little one say, "mamas are for lovin"
hearing your kids read to each other and know how to spot good books at the library.
watching a giggle fit from the latest joke
having weekly pillow fights
making bubble hairdos in the bath with your daughters
and, hearing them pray every day for their two new sisters to get here quickly...

Monday, January 4, 2010


Beginnings always are easy for me. I can dive right in with a happy attitude. It is the midway on that get hard. By the end I am usually saying "ugh, just get DONE!!" I have been this way my whole life. I remember a coloring book at age 4. I hardly finished any of them. I would start this page... then realize my color choices did not reflect my imaginings... and get sad or mad and stop. At age 10 I would bake cookies. I got the first batch out of the oven. ate half, then stopped. leaving the dough in a bowl in the fridge. I HATE baking for no reason! I have done this with countless things my entire life. Mondays I look at with hope! I think, ahhhh a new week. Fresh with no mistakes. Then by weds I am thinking, MY goodness!! WHEN will the weekend get here!!??? I HATE having my lesson plans go awry by weds. I hate not having all the little squares checked off... I know it is a problem. and it is on MY end. I see that and it is one of my aspirations to deal with that this year too. But for now, I am simply aspiring to finish what I begin. If I am hating something, I will walk away for a moment, then come back refreshed or turn on music or something to make that thing better, til it is done. And I will learn to be ok with imperfection. In me, in my projects, my kids and my hubby.... I WILL. Here's to new beginnings! and also to happy (finished) endings

Friday, January 1, 2010

in case you wondered if my tummy always showed

Yes. almost always. But I will NOT make that my Showing my belly button more. Definitely only a thing I could get away with at age 5 or 6 tops.


This would be a picture of me at about age 6. I am wearing an outfit of my choosing and eating not only 1 but TWO hot dogs and sticking my tongue out at the photographer. Not a clue who (but if it was my aunt she deserved it and not even my mom would have spanked me) I am also getting a dirty look from my brother behind me. But I was actually not a bad kid. Just had a wild moment. My hair refused to stay in a pony-tail. I had a too short shirt and my belly always stuck out, and THIS was my thin days. But what I love about this picture is that I was uninhibited and could care less what I looked like. I was happily enjoying junk food with both hands. I was barefooted at the lake and loving life. THIS is what I intend for this year. More moments like this!

We have been sick for a whole stupid MONTH!! The entire month of December!! Now we are finally getting better.(yay!) and I am thinking about the plans for the new year.

I give up on resolutions...I do not get along well with them. I kill them too quickly. They are like houseplants. They look great for a week or so then die sad deaths of neglect. I am choosing aspirations instead this year. That means I don't fail... I simply aspire to do better. My aspirations for this year:( the top one being to aim for a better relationship with God. Obviously any blunders are not on His part, but mine... so I aspire to fix MY end only.)
1. to enjoy my kids MORE and not stress about their safety, behavior and clothes choices.
2. to dance more, sing more, love more and laugh more.
3. to give more.
4. to be myself more. I give up trying to fit other people's expectations and please everyone else. Not that I intend to be intentionally rude or always selfish, but just be REAL and love life.
5. to figure out this crazy little thing called love.
6. to be healthier
7. to bring home my girls!.!! Hopefully in the newer part of the year rather than the later part.
8. to save money by learning to be a better cook.

May our New year be filled with the things that make us happy and help others and share the real love of God.